Active readers annotate!
Although it may seem like the strategy du jour, annotation is not new, as seen in the parchment page gloss below:
Historically speaking, glosses were originally notes made in the margin or between the lines of a text to help the reader understand the meaning of a word or passage.
We ask students to do the same thing today. All good, right? Yes, unless students are burdened with so many annotation marks and symbols they lose sight of the text's content, which I have seen (and most likely done) first hand.
There are as many ways to annotate as there are readers and of course, teachers. There is not one right way to teach annotation. However, having attended many professional development sessions and read the latest pedagogical tomes on annotating, I had to come up with my own easy-to-remember, meaningful symbols that worked for interacting with any text - fiction and nonfiction.
Hence the Fabulous Five:
The Fab Five annotation marks are grounded in four seminal reading skills of adroit readers who attack complex texts:
- Identifying key ideas and overarching themes
- Accessing content vocabulary
- Making connections
It is my hope the Fabulous Five help support both students and teachers as they continue teach annotation as a formative close reading skill and best practice.
Need more evidence? Text annotation allows the reader to...
- Interact with the text, bringing their own ideas, questions, and interpretations.
- Increase comprehension and retention.
- Keep track of key ideas, questions, connections, and predictions
- Help formulate thoughts and questions for deeper understanding
- Foster analyzing and interpreting skills
- Make inferences and draw conclusions about the text
- Easily refer back to the text without rereading the text in its entirety
Happy Reading and Annotating, y'all!
Need some Fabulous Five Annotation Products? Check out my Fabulous Five Annotation Bundle for everything your students need.